Everyone knows that a sedentary lifestyle is an unhealthy lifestyle, but most of us think this is because being inactive is synonymous with being overweight. In reality, it has a lot less to do with weight and more to do with the MANY changes that happen in our bodies simply by sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Most of us sit a lot, and I mean A LOT. Whether it’s because of a desk job, long commute to work, or our choice of recreational activities – reading, TV, watching our kids play sports – we spend most of our day sitting. Take a quick inventory of your day – how many hours do you typically spend with your rear end planted in a chair? 6 hours? 8 hours? 12 hours? Recent surveys concluded that the average person sits about 10 hours a day.
While sitting does affect metabolism – it is estimated that prolonged sitting leads to a 25% reduction in metabolic rate – it turns out that sitting may be more detrimental to health for reasons other than effects on weight. An early 2015 study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that a sedentary lifestyle adversely affects the health of all people, irrespective of their weight, and that it could actually be two times more dangerous than being overweight. The good news? Even small increases in activity may be beneficial in reducing your mortality risk.
Sitting is detrimental to health because of the many changes happening beneath the surface that we don’t see and are typically unaware of. When we sit, especially for too long, it’s highly likely that it’s happening with slouched posture. Slouched sitting is a double whammy for detrimental health effects – to name just a few:
- Changes in spinal curves and alignment (tension on the spinal cord changes nerve function)
- Muscle imbalances
- Reduced lung expansion (less oxygen taken in)
- Reduced circulation (movement helps return blood to the heart)
- Reduced mental focus
These adverse effects of sitting change how ALL body systems function, some directly and others indirectly through changes in the nervous system. Because the nervous system is the master control system of the body, when it is altered, changes can be seen anywhere in the body.
Most of the time, we only begin to notice any of these changes when pain enters that picture. Pain is a signal that our bodies use to say, “Hey! This is NOT working for me!” It is a request for CHANGE. But pain is usually one of the last ways that our bodies communicate this need. In fact, low back pain is often a late side effect that results from sitting too much; however, if you know what to look for, you can typically see the body’s other warning signals before the pain begins.
Some of the common signs that indicate you’re on the road to trouble include:
- Postural Asymmetries – one hip higher than the other, one shoulder higher than the other, exaggerated upper back curve and rounded shoulders, head in front of shoulders (side view)
- Tight and Achy Low Back Muscles
- Flat Gluteus Maximus
- Soft, Protruding Abdomen – poor core strength
- Chronically Tight Hamstrings
Do you see any of these signs in yourself? If so, pain and dysfunction don’t have to be a part of your future. NeuroStructural Corrective Chiropractic Care is designed to improve the underlying problems in both spinal structure and nervous system function. Many of the patients in our office see significant improvements in their NeuroStructural Distortions and elimination of their Secondary Conditions, especially when combined with regular activity.
At Wellspring Chiropractic, we provide a thorough NeuroStructural Corrective Chiropractic Examination that allows us to see where your NeuroStructural Distortions are. From there, we formulate a comprehensive plan designed specifically for you to address these distortions.
The sooner these problems are addressed, the easier your fix will be. It’s a great day for chiropractic, so call now for a COMPLIMENTARY consultation with your Roswell Chiropractor.